July 15th 2015
Name – Joey Gomez
Nickname – Ko King / The War Machine
Weight – 135 pounds
Record – 6 wins 0 losses
Team – Team Link
Where are you from ?
I am from the sunny state of California, a town that’s not so little anymore called Murrieta.
How long have you been training ?
See this a complex answer. I guess you could say that I started “training” in high school when I started wrestling my freshmen year. That was when I knew that I had a knack for competition. As far as MMA training goes it was in 2006 during my first tour in Iraq.
How did you get in to MMA ?
I saw some of the early UFC shows and was always rooting for the wrestlers, I remember thinking to myself I could do that. When I graduated high school I joined the Marine Corps and missed the thrill of competition. I went to Iraq in 2006 for the first time and didn’t know how to handle everything that happened to me while I was over there. Naturally I turned to alcohol and ended up getting myself in some trouble drinking underage. While I was on barracks restriction I had a lot of time to reflect. I knew I needed to get all the anger out of me that I had pent-up boozing wasn’t constructive so at 20 years old I made the decision that I was going to become a fighter. I walked into this gym called Island Boxing and Fitness owned by Muhsin Corbbrey. I walked up to him and said “I want to fight on your next show”. He asked the basic question and I said I was good to go “I’m a Marine”. He invited me to pro practice to see what I got. Man let me tell you I’ve never been beat up like that before. These guys were kicking me in the face dumping me on my head, judo throwing and subbing me at will. After practice he came up to me and said well you got heart but you’re not ready yet. I agreed, naturally, and I was hooked since then. My life was fighting, everything I thought about, everything I ate, and everything I talked about was all fighting. I was in the gym six days a week, they would have to kick me out because after class I would try to drill with people after or beat on the heavy bag,. I felt like finally my life had meaning again, that I was meant to punch and kick people in the face. I felt normal while I was in the gym getting beat up and fine tuning my trade.
Tell us about your nickname how did you get it ?
Well my nick name just changed recently I was called “War Machine” and I was very proud of that nick name. got that nickname in Iraq from a good friend and mentor Sgt Ronnie Dekker. I got the nickname because it did matter who you were, how big you were or how tough you thought you were I wanted to fight you, and I made it a dog fight just in your face never giving up no matter if you were beating me up I was just in their to make it a nasty fight. For obvious reasons I had to change my nickname, still pisses me off to this day because I am a “REAL” War Machine. Almost eight years in the Marine Corps, Two combat tours to Iraq, I mean it doesn’t get anymore real than that. Currently I am fighting under the nickname “Ko King” because my last 7 fights have come all by way of KO/TKO. My buddy Ross from Team Link gave me the nickname. Its pretty cool and I dig it, it’s also stuck and a lot of my fight fam dig it so why not you know.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
The most defining moment of my career was definitely when I turned pro and decided that it was time for me to get after it. I set three goals for myself. 1. To have at least 10 professional fights 2. To fight on national tv at least once 3. To fight and win at least professional title. I’ve accomplish 2 of the 3 and im going into my 7 professional fight soon. I think I kind of cover the second half of that question earlier.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
My parents were skeptical like any parent should be when their kid says they want to beat people up for money lol. But they loved and supported me through it all.
What is your current record ?
My ammy record was 9-0 in kickboxing mainly exhibition type of matches and 10-3 in mma. My professional record is 6-0 in mma.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
I like anything and everything that will end a fight quickly that way I can get paid and get back to my family and back in the gym to get ready for the next fight.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Another tricky question; my mom is my biggest inspiration in life. I love my mother so much and I want nothing to make her proud. At the same time my wife inspires me to be a better person everyday. She’s showed me the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to the way we were raised as kids. She helped me understand that just because I struggled and was taught a certain way that it doesn’t have to be that way for our children. She took a boy for a husband and made him a man even with all my kicking and screaming. My daughter and unborn baby inspires me to work everyday in every facet of life whether it’s at work or in the gym, I will provide for them no matter what I have to do or sacrifice.
What team do you train with ?
Currently I am train with Team Link in Hooksett New Hampshire with Ed Carr, Walter Cotito, Nick Alley, Ken Murphy, Ross Levien (sorry if I spelled it wrong I was too lazy to go on FB and double-check it) I also have a strength and condition coach the one and only Mike Perry who owns Skill Of Strength and MMA Fight Prep, and finally my world-class Boxing coach Mohammad Brooks with Nashua PAL. And I cross train a here and there with some other guys in the area.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I defiantly like to keep the fight standing but I am not afraid to be on the ground either. I’m a jack of all trades but a master of none. People like to see knockouts, and I happen to be really good at it.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter is kind of a lot of responsibility, more so especially now with me being on the cusp of a UFC contract. I have to watch what I say in public/social media. A lot of little kids look up to me and my name is synonymous with a lot of other companies and people who have invested time and effort into me. I feel like I have a lot of things and people that I have to live up too. Fighting isn’t just what I do anymore, it’s who I am. I’m not just Joey Gomez the mechanic; I’m not just Joey Gomez the dad. When you google Joey Gomez it’s the fighter that shows up, and #iamnumber57
What weight do you fight at ?
I fight at 135lbs which is the Bantamweight division.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
The amount of power that I can generate is unprecedented. There aren’t many people in the world that have the ability to knock people out with either hand at 135. My timing is impeccable, and I’m well rounded. I also have a different mentality when it comes to fighting. I have been to combat were there are no second chances. I’ve played the game for keeps; I have fought for my life overseas. Getting in the cage is easy once you have done all that. My killer instinct is just that killer. They’re just lucky there is someone in their to pull me off.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Chesty Puller hahahahahaha Semper Fi Marines!
Who has been your toughest fight to date?
Life man, nobody hits harder than life. Pretty sure that’s from a movie but it’s so true. Kin Moy was pretty tough.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
My mindset is the same as it was while I was overseas, I ask god to focus my mind and steady my heart. I’ve said goodbye to my family already so my job is to go out there and hurt that person before they hurt me, to assert my dominance and to never let up until they stop moving. I want to hurt them.
Who are you fighting next and what holes or weaknesses do you see in their game ?
Don’t have an opponent just yet might not be fighting until October. We will see.
What promotion are you fighting for Date and time of your next fight ?
I am currently under contract with CES MMA again waiting for my manager to let me know what the deal is.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want people to remember me for me being me. For being exciting, and not afraid to raise to the occasion, and showing heart.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Putting together a 6 fight win streak and winning two professional titles.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Walter Cotito is defiantly the guy who pushes me the most, constantly forcing me to evolve as a fighter and helped me realize the fighter that I am. Don’t be weird about it bro. Love you homie.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
Mcgregor def has brought attention to the lighter weight divisions which I think is more exciting than some of the heavier divisions.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
Violent, painful, and technical.
What drives or motivates you ?
God Family and the overwhelming desire to change my family’s life.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I am wicked awkward, I’m super sensitive and feel for people, but I am able to turn it all off when it comes time too.
When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time ?
I like to surf, bodyboard, free dive and spend time with my family.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I don’t know man, MMA saved my life. I don’t know if I would be here If I didn’t start fighting.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Getting into the UFC is what hypes me up now, to do this for a living and be able to quit my job. I’ve barely scratched the surface of my potential. Imagine if I could fully dedicate myself….. that’s scary my dude no rituals just violence my man.
Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5-10 years ?
Right up there with soccer.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
My favorite fighter I like a lot of fighters I take a lot away from everyone I watch fight. I’m always trying to get better.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
I want to take this moment to thank EVERYONE past and present that has help me along the way. My wife for pushing me and helping me through the ups and downs, Ed Carr and Walter Cotito my secret weapons, Mike Perry of Skill of strength for taking my game to the next level with strength and condition, Jeff Nader for convincing me to stick with it, my Mom and Dad for their love and support, Ben Senter trucking for being such a great sponsor and help me and my family, my Manager Tim O’Conner with combat sports agency for believing in me carrying me and getting me the right fights, Brian Gillespie, thank you for all the opportunities you have given me past and present.
and my kids for making me a better person.
Follow me on twitter @gomezthefirst35
on instagram @gomezthefirst
and on facebook at Joey Gomez